Customized Desert to Wetlands 11 Days
Our Desert to Wetlands Tour normally would require one to have more vacation days. This tour was customized to cover 3 countries. We started off in Windhoek and enjoyed the Namib Desert in Sossusvlei before proceeding to coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. We then drove inland to Etosha National Park where we had good sights on various big game including herds of elephants, Black and White Rhinos, different prides of Lions and several antelope species.
We made our way to the wetlands in northeastern Namibia where we enjoyed wildlife sightings and different bird species. Species encountered include Coppery-tailed Coucal, Southern Ground Hornbill, African Pygmy Goose, Wood Owl, Brown Fire finch, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Racket-tailed Roller, Sacred and Hadeda Ibis among others. An unanticipated event of a flat tyre was rather fun as we were well prepared with spare ones. The children rather enjoyed the adventure of changing one in the middle of Bwabwata National Park! We then made our way to Chobe National Park in Botswana for an afternoon Boat Cruise. Elephants here do not need a passport to cross borders into either Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia or Angola. It was great watching them swim in the Chobe River to the Namibian side. Other highlights were sightings of herds of Cape Buffaloes, Crocodiles on Riverbanks, Hippos grunting while we were sipping our sundowner drinks and Pied Kingfishers getting some dinner before the sun went down. We had an early morning start into the Chobe National Park for a game drive. Birding was spectacular, and as an icing on the cake, mother lion was crossing the Chobe River with her cubs. As she jumps the little stream, three cubs seem to hesitate to follow her. The seemed to be pushing each other on who is going to be first to give it a go! They finally managed and she seemed to be looking for some breakfast as she began stalking a herd of Zebras.
As we drove inland from the river course, the rest of the pride was in the bushes, more cubs playing, with 2 big males nearby. We then went back to our lodge for brunch and spent the afternoon enjoying the tranquility of the lodge surroundings, still watching hippos from the verandah of our rooms.
We then crossed the border the following morning into Zimbabwe. We spent the whole morning at the Victoria Falls before the guests caught their flight in the afternoon, marking an end to our trip.
Namibian Highlights - 7 Days
With vast landscape, wildlife and cultural diversity, Namibia is unarguably a photographer’s haven. Any time of the year is stunning, but a few months just before we get into our winter, the vegetation is green and yet the skies are clear blue and there’s little dust in the rain-washed air. Our 7 day Namibian Highlights tour was customized for enthusiastic nature photographers.
We enjoyed a scenic drive from Windhoek past the steepest mountain pass in Namibia, the Spreetshoogte Pass. We are still in our low season tourism-wise hence the lodge was almost empty. The following morning, we had a very early start to the Sossusvlei red sand dunes. The weather was on our side, we had a beautiful sunrise in the dunes. The sunrise light shining on one side of the red sand dune with shade on the other side is a typical photo for Sossusvlei. An Oryx in front of such a such dune is an icing on the cake. We visited the Deadvlei, Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. After enjoying our packed breakfast under a big camelthorn tree, we then made our way to the Namibian Atlantic Coast past scenic Gaub and Kuiseb passes.
We had a little stop at a few iconic Quiver (Aloe dichotoma) trees for some more photos and proceeded to Swakopmund past Walvis Bay where we stopped to see hundreds of Flamingoes. The Living Desert Tour was great as once again the weather was on our side. After enjoying our 2 night stay in Swakopmund with sea food dinner we proceeded to the renowned Etosha National Park. We had good sightings of Lions and Black Rhinos during day game drives. Herds of elephants are scarce during the rainy season; however, we were lucky with a single bull. Late afternoon lion sighting was a highlight as the light was close to perfect. Black Rhino with a baby and a couple of more around the waterhole at night was great. The plains game was in numbers including Plains Zebra, Black-faced Impala, Blue Wildebeest, Springboks with little ones pronking early in the morning among other sightings. A couple of resident birds were encountered including Kori Bustard, Northern Black Korhaan, Greater Kestrel and summer visitors like the Lesser Kestrel.